I have always thought that regret was a wasted emotion. Once something has been done or said, it can't be undone or unsaid so why wallow in feeling bad about it - fix it. Be proactive about correcting whatever it is you feel you have done or said in error or in haste or in anger or, well, you get my point. It's been my opinion that too many people use regret as a way to make a bad situation worse and then pity themselves. Pity is another emotion on my waste-of-time list.
So why am I bringing this up? I recently sought the advice of a few friends (none of whom know each other) for a problem I was having. I was upset in the moment and without looking within for guidance, I took the, let's just call it "lazy" approach and asked others for help. I think I was ultimately looking for these woman to just listen and acknowledge, give me an outlet for my anger, maybe even commiserate. But for whatever reason, I happen to open up to women who could not understand my position, had never been in my shoes, offered counsel from not only a different perspective, but a different dimension. I was taken back.
Until this point in my 43 years, I have never met another woman who couldn't at least appreciate my point of view, much less one who couldn't fathom it. How is that possible? The concept still puts a "what?!" look on my face. Had I lumped all women together in one female stew thinking that we all ultimately abided by one set of rules? That doesn't sound like me. Had I not been associating with different women from different walks of life and different view points all along? That doesn't even sound possible. And if that is in fact true, how could I have asked the advice of 3 different people from different phases on my life, the same questions and gotten the same, absolutely counter-intuitive responses. Maybe it's me? Maybe I'm the odd one out? But if that's true, how did I get so far in life with this never having happened before? Here I am again with a big "what?!" on my face.
So back to the regrets. I now, without question, regret seeking out sounding boards for my urgent emotions instead of handling the situation personally. I regret perhaps trying to forge a deeper relationship with people I truly don't have connection with by opening up my life. And frankly I regret opening my mouth in the first place and not thinking it through. Now I have these women in my life that I am exposed to, that know me on a more intimate level, and I have gotten nothing back but... quizzical looks, judgements, and false concern. What?!
I've decided to take the position I should have in the first place and deal with this situation personally. I plan to tell these women that I was reactionary, that I should not have aired my "dirty laundry" to them, and that I am sorry for changing their perception of me and my life. I then will explain that it is my hope that our relationship go back to the way it was before this incident - a "let's pretend it never happened" do over.
Keep your fingers crossed that that works but let's face it, the saying "you don't get a second chase to make a first impression" applies on some level here. I opened up about something I should have kept to myself, to people who did not give me what I needed in return and I've forever changed the landscape of our relationships. I'd say this feeling in my stomach is regret.
"Regrets. I've had a few. But then again, too few to mention." True. But now that I have mentioned it to all of you, I regret doing that too ;-)